Cultural Resources:

Results of Questionnaire on Federal Agency Historic Preservation Activities

RCED-86-45FS: Published: Dec 10, 1985. Publicly Released: Jan 9, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO summarized responses to a questionnaire about historic preservation activities that was sent to various federal agencies.

GAO found that many agencies believe that: (1) a fairer balance needs to be struck between compliance with historic preservation requirements and agency mission objectives; and (2) historic preservation requirements and procedures are more burdensome than necessary. Several agencies claimed that requirements imposed by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and some state agencies have contributed to project delays and increased project costs. Under existing procedures, agencies must often obtain guidance and clearance from ACHP, the Department of the Interior, and state agencies before proceeding with planned projects. Several agencies believe that the procedures allow ACHP, Interior, and the states to request extensive and unnecessary documentation and studies and take an unlimited period of time to provide comments on a project. Many agencies believe that federal historic preservation legislation should be amended to streamline the review process and establish fixed timeframes during which reviewing agencies must complete their work.

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